30 October 2007

Movie Review: Flightplan

Flightplan (3/5 stars)
I'm apathetic to this film... it wasn't really good or bad, it's just something that exists. Jodie Foster plays her more recent typecast role yet again - recently widowed woman in peril who's forced to become a hero. She is fun to watch, however unrealistic these events are. In the first part of the film, she shows us her acting strengths of playing a character who is pushed to the limit emotionally, having to question reality and her own mind. You as the viewer even start to question the reality of the situation and whom to trust, gathering evidence together to make a decision. But before you can make a distinction of good and bad, the film snowballs into action after a very predictable twist. It's now a race against time to stop the professional criminals, save many lives unbeknownst to them, and save yourself. Luckily, Foster's character has intimate knowledge of plane engines (she's an engineer, afterall), which somehow means she also knows the plane's skeletal structure, too. (This reminded me of Panic Room, where she ends up sneaking around the house, timing her steps to avoid the bad guys at just the right moments, giving herself tactical advantage.) Her expertise gives her full-advantage over the antagonist, when dealing with the peak of her dilemma.

Sean Bean, although only a small role, does a fine job portraying a character whom you don't know if you can trust or not. The entire movie, every time he enters a new scene, you're questioning his loyalty. The same goes for flight attendant in-training, Erika Christensen (who looks like Julia Stiles). Once the entire plane gets involved in her child's disappearance, the film presents alternate pathways in which the story could go - from terrorism to conspiracies to cover-ups. Unfortunately, large portions of the story's detail was conveniently left out, leaving us to question how certain events took place to bring everyone together. Even though the movie will keep you guessing most of the way through, there are large chunks of it that are painfully predictable. About the only thing that held my interest was the sheer size and overall design of the plane. Nearly all of this film takes place inside this huge aircraft, but you never feel claustrophobic. I felt myself itching for the moment when someone would venture down into the bowels of the jetliner, just so I could see what the off-limits area looks like.

Overall: very original story, intricate set design, predictable at times, cheesy but fulfilling ending, and satisfactory script. Not something I'll ever watch/rent again.

Movie Review: Man on Fire

Man on Fire (3/5 stars)
I must admit, this film was a lot different than I imagined it would be. It takes place in Mexico City, and involves an underground kidnapping-for-ransom problem (children and adults). With an R rating, this film was violent in spurts, all revenge-related, but nothing a desensitized mind can't handle. The director, Tony Scott (Deja Vu, Enemy of the State), uses his typical sharp/jumpy editing and rack-focus camera work throughout the entire film, which means I think it's over-done. Although, aside from that, I thought the cinematography was very beautiful, with strong color contrasts and monochromatic schemes, appropriate to the scene mood. At over two hours long, it doesn't feel lengthy by any means, but a lot of the film time was taken up by character development, which might be disappointing to people who are expecting an in-your-face action film.

Denzel Washington did a great job, of course, adhering to his typical forced-heroism role. Contrast to that, there is a scene in which his character portrays a moment of ultimate defeat, attempting the 'only-way-out'. Dakota Fanning is only in about half the movie (you can probably guess why from the premise), but as far as young actors go, I think she's fairly decent. She's a fast, articulate talker in everything I've seen her in, which to me screams intelligence hidden by a harmlessly cute facade. There are some very tender and cute moments of bonding between these two characters, thankfully not over-done by either actor or script direction. Rhada Mitchell plays the mother, and I always love her in anything, however similar she plays her characters in any genre. She gets one explosive scene in the whole movie, which was like a time-bomb, so much that it gives you a little jolt and a moment of panic.

Overall: good acting, beautiful cinematography, standard script, typical storyline but with a few twists, and decent ending. But because I gave it 3/5 stars, that means it's not something I'd ever watch or rent again.

29 October 2007

My First Post

Work is so boring today, that I decided to start a blog! Hooray, yes? I hope so... I'm not even sure people will venture back here to read it, but in any case, it'll be a nice way for me to purge or rant about things in my head. I do love to rant... :) Oh, and this blog is called Becky Babble, because not only is it so clever, using two B-words in the title, but it's also very pertinant to my personality, of having this writing condition in which I babble on and on, creating paragraphs for an otherwise short story. So deal! :D And I'm sorry in advance if my grammar sucks or I mis-spelled something... I do strive for perfection usually, but I won't always have time to proof this stuff. Well, since this opening paragraph has gotten longer than I expected, I'm going to split up the next writings to another post - so now I have TWO posts! Woo!